By David Atkins, AlterNet, 12/23/14
An angry young man fell through society’s cracks and was able to get a gun.
No sooner had the fatal shooting of two NYPD officers reached the newswires than the predictable partisan backlash began: conservatives who had been on their heels as a movement grew against police brutality suddenly found their foooting from which to unleash a torrent of invective blaming liberals for the killings. Sensible people have pointed out that it is possible to mourn the brutal killings of police officers alongside the pointless deaths of unarmed civilians.
But overlooked in this narrative is the depressing reality that this latest multiple murder has much more to do with America’s continued inability to solve its epidemic of gun violence, particularly by the mentally ill, than it does with the ongoing debate about policing tactics. It’s not just that (minor incidents of looting notwithstanding) protests against excessive force by police have been expressly non-violent and that a movement whose slogan is “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” can hardly be blamed for causing someone to shoot innocent public servants. …
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